Friday, 6 January 2012
Return of the Living Dead Part 3 (1993)
If you read my reviews on Return of the Living Dead Parts 1 & 2 then you'll know that I plan to review the entire series. I'm currently on course to complete this task and tonight I got one step further with Return of the Living Dead Part 3, directed by the consistently great yet underrated director, Brian Yuzna (Re-Animator sequels and other greats). Just like the first 2 movies, this one didn't disappoint me in the slightest. As a matter of fact, it might even be the best in the series so far. It takes a completely different approach from the comedy driven zombie action of the first two and instead focuses more on the horror and even more so - romance.
Curt and Julie are a young rebellious couple, completely in love, them against the world (you know the type). Anyway, one night they sneak into a military base where Curt's dad works and witness an experiment where the military are trying to turn the undead into super soldiers. Later on that night the young lovers decide to runaway together but an unfortunate accident kills Julie, and naturally Curt makes the mistake of bringing her back to life with the lethal 'Trioxin' that we've come to learn never ends up good for anyone when they're exposed to it. Curt isn't ready to accept his girlfriend is becoming one of the undead, so he takes her on the run and they have to overcome obstacles such as the forces, the undead, a pissed of Hispanic gang looking for revenge and Julie's growing cannibalistic hunger.
For many fans of the series this was the movie that truly ended it. I know the next 2 sequels are received with general loathing and contempt, but the 3rd of the series is a fan favorite often held in as high regard as the 1st (even more so than the 1st by some). Brian Yuzna really switched it up with this one and put his own stamp on it. If you've seen other Yuzna movies then you can tell it's one of his just by looking at the zombies amalgamated Picasso-like, appearances (Society comes to mind, only less f'd up). Like his buddy and sometimes colleague, Stuart Gordon often does, Yuzna has presented a high concept idea on a small budget and made it look great. The only criticism I have is it's a shame Yuzna didn't do another sequel focusing on the zombie super soldiers going to war.
Return of the Living Dead Part 3 not only kept the series exciting, it kept it fresh. Gone is the goofy comedy and in its place in more tense horror with a necrophelic romantic heart. There is still a comedy outlet for the chaos going on though with the character of the River Man. He's so insane it's hard not to have a giggle. After watching this I don't know if I want to watch the next 2. This was a perfect movie to round off a great series, and I haven't heard a single good thing about the next 2. But I did promise you all that I would so I fully intend on doing so. Who knows? I might even be one of the only people to enjoy them.